The Attorney General of Texas, Ken Paxton, has launched an investigation into a hospital in Texas for engaging in “potentially illegal activity.” While Paxton did not specify what the alleged illegal activity was, he issued a statement expressing concern that “fringe activists” are using their positions in healthcare to force experimental and life-altering procedures on children. He also stated that such activity has no place in Texas.
Although Texas does not have a law officially banning the treatment of transgender care for minors, Paxton has pushed for the state to designate it as child abuse. The hospital investigation is seen as an attempt to further this idea and explore other avenues to outlaw the treatment. Republican lawmakers in Texas are working on passing legislation banning the treatment of transgender minors. However, the vote, originally scheduled for Friday, has been delayed for at least one day.
In 2022, Paxton issued a non-binding legal opinion that portrayed certain gender-affirming treatments as child abuse. Governor Greg Abbott also ordered Texas’ child welfare agency to investigate families with children receiving the care, but the probes were blocked by a judge in Texas last year.
Paxton’s investigation is looking into Dell Children’s Hospital’s policies on puberty blockers and examining documents that identify patients referred for treatment and counseling. Dell Children’s Hospital operates under the non-profit Catholic health system Ascension, which has an affiliation with the University of Texas in Austin.
The group has stated that it prohibits any surgeries or hormone therapy prescriptions for children with gender dysphoria. The hospital has said that it plans to take appropriate action if any wrongdoing is found, but refused to provide further details.
Paxton says that the purpose of the investigation is “to uncover the truth.” The hospital has denied any wrongdoing, but external sources have informed the Texas government otherwise. This announcement is in line with other states banning transgender treatment for children and reports of North Carolina university hospitals providing gender care treatment to children as young as two.
The investigation will determine whether the hospital has been consistent with its statements. Until the results are released, the situation remains uncertain.
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